A young girl, aged seven, has passed away after a makeshift boat, traveling towards the UK, overturned in France.

Estimated read time 2 min read

A young girl, age 7, passed away in a canal near Dunkirk when a temporary boat carrying 16 individuals from northern France to the UK overturned. This information was reported by the prefecture in France’s Nord department.

The vessel, which had a total of 15 passengers including the pregnant mother, father, and three siblings of the girl, along with 10 other children aged seven to 13, capsized and everyone on board fell into the water.

The emergency responders were notified of the event at approximately 7:30 am on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, they were unable to revive the young girl.

The incident took place 16 miles (26km) inland from where the boat would have reached the coastline, bringing up new concerns about the tactics used by criminal smugglers to evade capture.

The mayor of Watten, Daniel Deschodt, stated that this is the initial instance of gathering migrants following a shipwreck near the town where the incident occurred.

According to an interview with the Voix du Nord newspaper, there is a new occurrence where departures are taking place further inland rather than from the coast due to overcrowding. Although there was a departure on the canal a month ago, this is the only instance so far.

This marks the sixth confirmed death in 2024 due to the trafficking of individuals across the Channel.

In January, five individuals lost their lives while trying to board a small vessel near the coastal town of Wimereux in France. Over 70 people were saved from the freezing temperatures.

The European Union and the United Kingdom have made a commitment to collaborate in efforts to combat criminal organizations. According to Europol, these gangs are primarily controlled by Kurdish individuals from Iraq and operate out of Germany. Their operations involve intricate transportation methods, including importing boats from China, and storing them in Belgium until enough individuals are recruited for their dangerous journey.

The police forces of France, Belgium, and Germany disbanded a major gang in Calais 10 days ago by apprehending 19 individuals, including five of the group’s leaders who were based in Germany.

Ministers responsible for home affairs will convene in Brussels on Monday to address the most recent migration laws and other important matters.

A recent report from the organization Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime stated that the UK and France’s efforts to restrict migration will likely strengthen the influence of the “ruthless organized criminals” mentioned by Rishi Sunak, rather than dismantling it.

Source: theguardian.com

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